Photolisting. This is a hot word going around the adoption world right now. Some countries allow photos of children to be circulated in hopes a family will see a child and feel an instant connection. I know this feeling as I had it when I saw my girls. Other countries do not allow it. Some think that photolisting intrudes on their privacy. That is why we don't mention V's real name or her country.
I, as well as dozens of other adopting parents, have had some trolls complain about us putting up pictures of the children on our blogs. They have said that it is illegal. They have also actively tried to interrupt and prevent our adoptions. Let me repeat that for you-They have actively tried to interrupt and prevent our adoption and the adoptions of dozens of other families. It will not work because we are doing nothing wrong. But it shows the type of people we have been dealing with.
So, here is an answer to the questions about the legality of photo listing from our facilitator in the girl's country:
Recently there have been discussions on-line and in forums about the use of photo-listing to help **** orphans find a family. Some people are falsely claiming that it is against *** law to photo list children waiting to be adopted. They refer to Resolution # 905 from October 2008 as their basis. If they read and translate this entire resolution clearly, before making such claims, they would see that public advocacy for the adoption of orphans waiting to be adopted is actually encouraged, provided that the child’s name and location are protected.
Please, read below directly from **** Law, Resolution 905, paragraphs 46 and 47:
З метою заохочення громадян до усиновлення повідомлення про дітей можуть розміщуватися в засобах масової інформації, на офіційних веб-сайтах районних держадміністрацій, виконавчих органів міських, районних у містах рад, обласних держадміністрацій та Департаменту.
In order to encourage citizens for adoption information about children may be posted in mass media, on official web-sites of district state administrations, executive organs of city/district in the cities/regional state administrations and the ***.
Пункт 47: Інформація про дітей, яка розміщується відповідно до п. 46 цього Порядку, може містити фотокартку дитини, відомості про її імя, вік, форму влаштування (без зазначення назви та адреси закладу, в якому перебуває дитина, прізвища, імені, по батькові, адреси прийомних батьків, батьків-вихователів, опікунів, піклувальників), наявність братів, сестер, їх вік та форму влаштування, особливі потреби дитини, а також контактні телефони та адресу служби у справах дітей, Департаменту, де можна отримати направлення для знайомства з дитиною.
Information about children which is posted in accordance to paragraph 47 of this Resolution about procedure of adoption may include photo of the child, information like name, age, status (without name and address of establishment where the child is living, name and last name and address of foster parents, guardians, custodians, caregivers), presence of siblings, their age and status, special needs of the child, as well as contact telephone numbers and address of Children Service, the *** where it is possible to get referral for meeting with the child.
There is no misinterpretation possible of our law, which clearly PROMOTES careful advocacy for children who need adoptive families. There is no distinction between **** (domestic) or foreign adoptive families. There are many **** websites and ministries which do this, as well as foreign organizations. I have spoken to several **** attorneys, as well as the Prosecutor General, about this situation, and they all confirm that **** law promotes open advocacy for orphan children as long as their identifying information and location are protected.
Photo-listing is a very effective way to serve the orphans of ****. The children are posted in a general way, not at the request of a potential adoptive family (which IS illegal), but to help find a family for those children who are waiting. According to Privacy Law, publishing of “legal information” of the child is prohibited. “Legal information” of the child is considered to be court decree about termination of parental rights, social security number, etc. and/or other personal documents of the child including reason of abandonment, place of birth, etc. You will never see such detailed information in any photo listing, newspaper, etc. This is only available to the parents at their official appointment with the ***. Eligibility of the child, age, needs, medical information, personality are all legal and encouraged for permanent placement for the child.
In ***, the referral or “hold” on a child is only official once a dossier has been submitted/approved and parents have traveled for their appointment with the ***. There is no guarantee that you’ll 100% adopt this child because this child continues to be available for adoption, because anyone before you can come and legally adopt this child. . Every family wanting to adopt a child makes a written request to the *** to adopt this specific child (called CSP). The *** supports the implementation of this law fully by allowing families to request specific children (who meet the current criteria permitted, some special needs and over 5, with expansion of special needs list coming soon). If it was illegal to preselect children, the *** would never accept your petition and approve your adoption case. In the last 3 years, our facilitation team alone has processed more than 400 orphans in this exact manner. The *** cooperates fully for families requesting special needs, older children, and those met from legal hosting programs. Photo-listing of special needs kids has resulted in HUNDREDS of orphans to find families, which in previous 5 years (before 2006), very few were adopted in the old way of blind referral. The *** and **** officials recognize the value and effectiveness of photo listing, many of them find their families which would have not been possible on blind appointments.
We filled out the above mentioned papers called "Child Specific Petitions" and filed them with the government agency in our girl's country. If we could not preidentify a child there would be no document such as a CSP.
In addition, V is not just a picture. I have held her hand. My arms have been wrapped around her. I have heard her voice and she has heard mine. I have cupped her sweet chin in the palm of my hand and told her she is beautiful. I have seen her dance and sing and laugh.
We are going to this country in hopes to adopt her because she is a real person that we have met and fallen in love with. She is our daughter's best friend. Our girls lived together in extremely close quarters for years. So, just because they are not blood relatives does not mean they are not sisters.
We have gone to this country. We have adopted a child with FAS and HIV who is thriving. We know the risks, the hardships, the stresses involved in special needs adoption. We know that every time is different and that we are by no means experts. But we also know that the risks and difficulties are worth it.
I hope this clears some things up for the trolls who are so clearly very concerned about the best interests of the world's orphans (did the sarcasm come across enough there?). We will continue to do what we are doing and working to get to this sweet girl as fast as we possibly can while working within the laws of our country and hers.